My topic covers the prevalence of Anxiety disorders and how we can overcome them through various methods such as talk therapy, support groups and even medication. Many people may think of general anxiety disorder as just a severe case of being worried or shy but it is much more than that. GAD is a crippling disorder that can often get so extreme to the point where a person my even struggle with leaving their house. Anxiety often is related to other psychological disorders such as OCD, panic attacks and agoraphobia. It can prevent adults from professional advancements and children from having a healthy social life. Anxiety is a severe psychological disorder in which people can benefit from medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. It stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain and causes an individual to suffer from constant worry, stress and fear. This topic is very relevant to me because even though I do not have constant thoughts of stress to the point of needing medication, I do worry often about school and maintaining a high college GPA to keep my immediate family happy. This can often have a negative effect on the mental health of young college students because we are juggling a social and work life whilst trying to seek the approval of our parents.
The first article that I read surrounds a successful magazine editor that let his anxiety get to the point where he could not travel out of state or accept any professional promotions. He continued to suffer even though he was aware that he had a problem until he eventually knew that he had no other choice but to call a psychiatrist. Within a matter of weeks his anxiety decreased drastically as a result of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
This type of medication is effective in those who have been diagnosed with anxiety because it rebalances the biochemistry in one’s brain. The medication combined with cognitive behavioral therapy is so powerful that it can relieve symptoms of the disorder.
Genetics often play a huge role in whether or not someone will have an anxiety disorder. There are many other smaller factors that contribute to who will get anxiety such as people who have few economic resources, exposure to very stressful experiences in both childhood and adulthood and behavioral inhibition.
The second article I read deals with a sub-group of general anxiety disorder called panic disorder. Panic attacks are debilitating because individuals experience intense worries of loosing control shortness of breath and even the fear of a possible heart attack. Every now and then I do get panic attacks but I am usually able to stop breathe in and out and gather my emotions because I know and accept what I’m dealing with. There are a few theories that attempt to discover how panic attacks come about with one being the theory that people who are perfectionists get them. This means that someone who tends to be controlling will face discomfort with any situation that they cant physically control.
There are other theories that focus on adults who had overbearing parents as children but despite these theories there is a scientific explanation that offers us actual facts. Humans have a natural fight or flight instinct. This occurs when the body recognizes danger and thus releases chemicals in our bloodstream that creates a response to physically prepare to fight or run away.
I learned that general anxiety disorders and panic attacks can often go untreated simply because the individual is unwilling to get help from a psychiatrist. There is a stigma around mental illnesses that prevents people from realizing that they need help from a mental health doctor and medication. This can only be solved with education and increased open discussions that can help people to realize that it is not their choice but simply a chemical imbalance in the brain. There is common shame surrounding mental illnesses that can make it frustrating for the individual and their loved ones. It is crucial to remember that taking medication for a mental illness is equivalent to taking medication for conditions such as diabetes or arthritis. It is part of being a human and realizing that we are not invincible but we do have the power to change our mindsets through medicine, therapy or even positive thoughts.